Tea drinking dates back to 2750 BC, when people living in the region that now makes up northern Burma and southern China drank tea for its medicinal properties. In fact, according to Ken Bressett, a coin expert, tea was once the preferred currency in Siberia due to its effectiveness in treating coughs and colds.
There are so many varieties of teas that it can be difficult to differentiate between them. Some teas are considered ‘true’ teas, while others are classified as herbal teas. Each variety of tea has a slightly different flavour ranging from fruity to nutty to spicy. We’re here to help you learn the differences and various health benefits of different types of teas.
There are actually 5 varieties of true teas and they all come from the same plant – camellia sinensis. As they are all derived from the same plant, the differences between these true teas come from how they are processed. Different levels of oxidization they are exposed to during processing affects the colour and taste of the tea.
White tea is the lightest of the true teas and is created from new buds and young leaves. It is the least processed, which gives it its pale appearance, delicate flavour, and the highest level of antioxidants. As a result, it has lot of health benefits including its anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, and skin-repairing properties.
For a fruity and silky-smooth taste try our White Tea. A delicate white tea blended with rose petals.
Green tea is fired or steamed shortly after it is picked to stop the oxidization process early on. It has a wide range of flavours that are dependent on factors such as the environmental conditions and how it was processed. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and supports the immune system, heart and brain health, and recovery.
Try our Jasmine Green Tea to discover the uplifting and restorative properties of green tea.
Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea. It is partially oxidized and comes in varying degrees of strength. Lighter Oolong teas are green and have a fruity taste while darker Oolong teas have a fuller, nuttier flavour. It is high in antioxidants, which protect the body against diseases. It is also high in polyphenols, which help lower inflammation.
Black teas are fully oxidized to draw out the deepest flavours of the leaves. They are often offered in some type of blend, which allows for a range of flavours including chocolate, caramel, and even floral notes. Black teas are actually the most commonly drunk tea in Australia. In a survey done by Canstar Blue, 42% of respondents said black tea was their favourite.
We have an amazing range of black teas, with one of our most popular blends being our French Earl Grey. Wonderfully fragrant and aromatic, our French Earl Grey contains lavender and rose, which gives it its beautiful and unique taste.
Pu-erh tea is less common than the other teas and originated in Yunnan Province, China. Pu-erh tea leaves are fermented and made in large dishes called cakes before being crumbled into a teapot. They have an earthy flavour and can help promote heart health, mental alertness, and healthy skin.
Herbal teas or Tisanes are infusions of herbs, spices, fruits, or other plants. They are not considered true teas but nonetheless have an array of health benefits and delicious varying tastes. Some popular herbal teas include chamomile and rooibos.
Chamomile is a herb that comes from flowers of the Asteraceae plant. To make Chamomile tea, the flowers are dried and infused in hot water. Much like true teas, Chamomile tea is full of anti-oxidants however, it does not contain caffeine. Chamomile tea also boasts a range of health benefits that aid in sleep and digestion.
For a calming and restful sleep try our Restful Tea (Chamomile for sleep)
Rooibos tea is derived from the leaves of a South African shrub. The leaves are either fermented, producing the traditional red Rooibos tea, or not fermented, producing green Rooibos tea. While red Rooibos is the more traditional of the two and has a nutty flavour, green Rooibos is higher in anti-oxidants and has a grassier flavour. Due to both variants’ range of anti-oxidants, many people believe that Rooibos tea can protect against cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
For a naturally sweet and full bodied tea, try our Rooibos Tea, which has been blended with vanilla, cinnamon, and rose.
Our full list of teas can be found on our tea products page.